The proposal to establish the position of a full-time, “set-aside” president of the Council of Bishops failed at General Conference today. As a constitutional amendment, the proposal needed a two-thirds majority. The vote was 490 for and 399 against.
This was a defeat for reformers, including Bishop Larry Goodpaster, who argued that as president for the past two years he could not do justice to that position and to overseeing the Western North Carolina Conference.
“I would have liked to have seen the set-aside bishop,” said Bishop John Schol, of the Baltimore/Washington Conference. “ I think that would have strengthened our work as episcopal leaders. But we’re ready to work with the church with whatever General Conference approves.”
Before lunch break, delegates were considering whether to establish term limits for U.S. bishops.
Meanwhile, on the agency restructuring front, those favoring the Connectional Table/Interim Operations Team plan and those favoring Plan B apparently are working on a compromise. Delegates agreed to let a compromise proposal be printed in the Daily Christian Advocate, to allow for consideration later this week.
The General Assembly reelected Fitzgerald “Gere” Reist as secretary of the General Conference.
Delegates have also been dealing with consent calendars.
Lots of UMC-affiliated choirs are performing during breaks today.